Governor of the Province of Yogyakarta Special Region, Sri Sultan HB X, reinstated that as the frontrunner of nation’s change, higher learning institutions have to have direct involvement as agent of change. Universities are expected not only as a miniature of life laboratory but also learning centre of society.
“Campuses should become the learning centre for society, because knowledge and education as a tool of knowledge are important parts for society. Knowledge supports prosperity as well as upholds nation’s dignity, he said during the 67th anniversary of Engineering Higher Learning Day in the Faculty of Engineering UGM on Monday (18/2).
Universities also need to bring back its role by making institutional transformation which includes harmonisation of strategy, structure, system, relations between stakeholders, staff, capability, leadership and various values. This measure is expected to be able to realise universities as centre of academic excellence, contributor of new knowledge, community empowerment and social relevance. “In general, Indonesian higher learning society is left behind, even isolated from socio-economic and cultural realities of its people. Therefore, restructuring, reconstruction, reposition and revitalisation of various organisational functions and components are required in the transformation,” he explained.
Sultan proposed that the Faculty of Engineering UGM in addition to preserve cultural heritage of the founding fathers, also explore, test, think and review strength potential and possibilities for empowerment in order that development of social technology can go hand in hand with the aspiration of the specialty of Yogyakarta’s status. This involves three players that support the specialty: Kraton, Kampus, and Kampung (Palace, Campus and Kampong) in which sustainable cultural transformation is continuing. “With this synergy, of which the Faculty is one element of Campus, specialty became more stable and developing,” Sultan said.
He further said that the province was trying to reinforce synergy with other universities in Yogyakarta in conducting student community service project in order to enhance Yogyakarta’s specialty. Coordination is needed for such programme as the project is also to give assistance to society.
Currently, up to 24 universities in Yogyakarta are joining the programme but up to now only 14 universities are active with 24,500 students getting involved. The programme focuses on poverty alleviation in Yogyakarta.
Rector of UGM, Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M.Soc., Sc., said the synergy between universities and regional government in student community service is one form of realisation in supporting the specialty.
A follow-up to this, Pratikno said, is by making collaboration with regional government of Yogyakarta. The design of the community service uses regional government database related to society priorities.
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering UGM, Prof. Ir. Panut Mulyono, M.Eng., said that the Faculty was monitoring technology advancement to accelerate achieving the aspiration of the specialty of Yogyakarta and the nation through achieving competitive and comparative excellence in technology.